What is in this article?:
- Are You Getting a Good Return on Investment for Your Training Efforts?
- Prove Your Learning Program Has Impact
Every safety director hopes his or her training program improves employees' abilities to do their jobs, that improvement has a positive impact on the business, that impact results in a financial benefit to the company and that the benefit is more than the cost of the training. Are you getting your training money’s worth?
The recently released ESI International report, “Training ROI: If Someone Asks, You’ve Already Lost Your Budget,” shows how businesses finally can measure what they’re getting for their training dollars. Here are the top three misconceptions of calculating ROI, according to ESI:
1. I don’t need it; people Intuitively understand the value of our training programs.
Generally, people do understand that learning programs bring value to the organization, but that’s not the issue. The issue is how much value? Remember, your noble mandate to transform the organization does not exist in a vacuum. To some degree, everyone in the organization shares the same mandate.
Somewhere on someone’s desk sits a portfolio of organizational initiatives, which is continuously being evaluated and prioritized. Your programs are somewhere on that list, and whether you realize it or not your training budget is being discussed, challenged, and in times like these, attacked in the never-ending fight for resources. Your challenge is to fight your way to the top of the list, and ROI is your best weapon.
2. If someone wants to see ROI, they will ask for It.
If ROI is important, then why aren’t people asking for it? First, you need to understand that people are not looking for reasons to justify your programs. They are looking for reasons to cut them. It’s always true, but it is particularly true
in today’s environment. It is up to you to make your case; nobody else is going to do it for you.
Second, realize that in lean times leadership tends to shift toward the CFO’s office. CFOs tend to make data-driven decisions and ROI is their gold standard. If others are providing it and you are not, then your training program is going to feel very soft and squishy to them and your position in the portfolio of initiatives is likely to sink like a rock.
3. It is very difficult – if not impossible – to calculate.
Calculating a true ROI is difficult, particularly when the value of training is not conveniently quantifiable, and typically it is not. That’s okay, because you don’t need to calculate true ROI. You only need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your program is cost justified. For any analysis there is a “cost of capture” that must be more than offset by the value it brings.
In other words, it is not going to do you a lot of good to have guys in white lab coats and stop watches come in and spend half of next year’s training budget trying to justify how you’ve spent this year’s budget – the juice has got to be worth the squeeze. If it is too difficult and costly, you are doing it wrong.